The Moon could be a “beautiful” source of minerals and energy, a top Chinese scientist has told the BBC.
Exotic materials including helium-3 and the potential for solar power could prove invaluable for humankind, he says.
The comments come from Prof Ouyang Ziyuan of the department of lunar and deep space exploration.
His first interview with the foreign media provides insights into China’s usually secretive space programme.
Prof Ouyang was speaking ahead of the first Chinese attempt to land an unmanned spacecraft on the lunar surface.
The Chang’e 3 lander is due to launch imminently, perhaps as soon as Sunday evening, UK time.
It will be the first to make a soft touchdown on the Moon since an unmanned Russian mission in 1976.
No humans have set foot on the lunar surface since…
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